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September 17, 2020

‘Pakistan should provide full support to Kashmiris’


September 17, 2020

Islamabad : The former Foreign Secretary, Ambassador Riaz Hussain Khokhar, said that it is time that Pakistan should provide ‘full spectrum’ support to the people of Illegally Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, who have been engaged in an over 70-year long struggle for their right to self-determination.

Mr Khokhar was speaking at a penal discussion on ‘Decoding Indian Foreign Policy in the Regional and Global Context’, organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at the Information Service Academy here Wednesday afternoon.

“The rhetorical statements that ‘Pakistan stands firmly with our Kashmiri brethren and will always support them morally, politically and diplomatically does not draw much attention neither these provide much solace to them,” Riaz Khokhar said.

He pointed that according to the UN Charter supporting an independence struggle does not fall in the category of supporting terrorism. He was skeptical when he said that Kashmir or Palestine are not East Timor or South Sudan, which got liberated through UN intervention.

“They were Christian and these are Muslims. There is nothing like conscience or morality when it comes to these matters. That is the dirty reality of the situation,” Riaz Khokar said.

Ambassador Riaz Khokhar said that right from the beginning India had always aimed to weaken and disintegrate Pakistan. But the nuclear tests on both the sides have changed the strategies on both sides.

“But India has always been engaged in using other means to hurt Pakistan through its operations in Balochistan, Sindh and in Afghanistan,” he pointed out.

However, Ambassador Salman Bashir, also a former Foreign Secretary, was more elaborative in the context as he said that while the chances of a war between Pakistan and India are remote, Pakistan can help and support the Kashmiris engaged in their struggle for freedom and their right to self determination, Pakistan can achieve the objective by supporting the Kashmiri diaspora all over the world.

“Pakistan can support the Kashmiri lawyers, doctors, human right organisations and activists, the journalists and others to which nobody can object. However, a peaceful solution to Kashmir issue is not possible no matter how much we may keep asking for this,” Ambassador Salman Bashir said.

Ambassador Salman Bashir said that India was never a state. “India is the by-product of British colonial rule because it was the British who brought whole of sub-continent under their rule and while departing the sub-continent, they gifted India to Hindu leader,” Ambassador Salman Bashir pointed out. He said that India had always been trying to keep itself intact and the latest attempt is this ‘Hindutva Policy’ of the BJP. But, he added, this ‘Hindutva policy taking India back to dark ages and its economy is suffering. It is losing its secular image at international level at the same time.

Ambassador Aziz Ahmed Khan, who had served as the High Commissioner in New Delhi, said that every year India tries to get Kashmir issue taken out of UN Agenda but has always failed.

“Pakistan needs to be more consistent with our policy on Kashmir and be pursuing it more actively. We need to give all out support to Kashmiri people at this stage. I believe our women Parliamentarians, media, the social media, the human rights organisations can raise the Kashmir issue much more effectively at international level. The women Parliamentarians should be sent to the capitals all over the world to present Pakistan’s case on Kashmir,” Ambassador Aziz Khan said.

Ambassador Asif Durrani was of the view that India has been trying to isolate Pakistan in the region as it refused to participate in the SAARC summit. But contrary to India’s efforts to isolate Pakistan, it is India itself which is getting isolated in the region and loosing face in the world because of its ‘Hindutva policy’.

The seminar started with screening of a documentary on Kashmir, encompassing all aspects of the Kashmir issue from its beginning till date. Federal Secretary for Information and Broadcasting, Akbar Durrani, welcomed the guests. He elaborated the factual situation and the reasons behind what is happening today in the Illegally Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir where state sponsored terrorism is at its peak against unarmed, helpless Kashmiri men, women and children.

He said that India is pursuing the policy of ‘disinformation and aggressive propaganda against Pakistan and on Kashmir which is part of the fifth generation war. The Principal Information Officer (PIO), Ms Shahera Shahid, presented the ‘vote of thanks’ in the end.